MEDIA ADVISORY: GOLDWATER INSTITUTE ASKS JUDGE TO BLOCK NEW PHOENIX RELEASE TIME PROVISIONS SET TO TAKE EFFECT MONDAY
Contact: Lucy Caldwell
MEDIA ADVISORY: GOLDWATER INSTITUTE ASKS JUDGE TO BLOCK NEW PHOENIX RELEASE TIME PROVISIONS
The Goldwater Institute today filed a motion for temporary restraining order to bar a controversial part of the release-time agreement approved by the Phoenix City Council yesterday by a 6-3 vote that is set to go into effect on Monday.
The agreement allows union release time for public purposes and forbids it for purposes for lobbying and campaigning. But it allows release time for such forbidden purposes funded by 15,799 extra vacation hours awarded to police officers, who then may “donate” it back to the union.
“This is a shell game and a blatant violation of the court’s injunction,” declared Clint Bolick, VP for Litigation, who represents Phoenix taxpayers. “It will mean back to business as usual, with the City diverting resources to union activities and the taxpayers continuing to pick up the tab.”
The City and PLEA contend release time is part of the compensation package. But Judge Katherine Cooper explicitly rejected that assertion, holding that release time was an illegal gift to the union.
During a council hearing earlier this week, councilmembers supporting the new release time scheme were open about the fact that the amendments set to take effect Monday were crafted specifically to get around the Court’s January ruling.
“Giving an illegal gift to the officers and then re-gifting it back to the union does not cleanse the transaction of its constitutional taint,” Bolick said.
The Institute is seeking a restraining order prior to the agreement taking effect on Monday.
Lucy Caldwell | Communications Director | Goldwater Institute | www.goldwaterinstitute.org<http://www.goldwaterinstitute.org/> | o: (602) 633-8986 c: (602) 828-2709